Sunday, July 01, 2007

Che Bella!

Jorg Washington He Ain't: so Jorg "Bella" Jaksche decided to sing early, and as promised, admitted he was a Fuentes client in '05 and '06 while at Liberty Seguros, scarfed EPO and growth hormone handily stashed in a sponsor's household appliances in the team car at Polti, chomped through substance upon substance at CSC and ONCE, and, perhaps least surprising, routinely held out his arms for needle sticks from the team docs at Telekom with the full knowledge and approval of management without even bothering to ask what the hell he was ingesting. Still, he had a good word to say about Bjarne Riis, noting that no-one likes to do it, but as everyone else is, it's the only way to level the playing field, and by the way, there's an agreement between UCI and some of the teams to studiously avoid surprises at the doping controls. UCI? Complicit in doping? No way Jorg! Meantime, Jorg was immediately condemned as a shameless money-grubbing media ho-bag (true) who's not only a lone wolf but a damned liar as well (highly likely untrue), ironically by, among others, Alexander Vinokorouv, who's just been obliged to concede his longstanding connection to doping icon Michele Ferrari, who naturally is and has always been his humble training coach (and, in good news for the other Tour contenders, he sez he's been pretty psyched out by all the controversy, as if the rumor mill needed a reason to accelerate as everyone watches who's going to get booted from the lineup before next Saturday). Is anyone else thinking it's just plain better if everyone else who rode on Telekom and/or T-Mobile suddenly started keeping their mouths shut?

UCI See He's Even More Annoying Than I Thought: and, in a similar vein, Pat "Dick" McQuaid has finally seemed to realize it doesn't look too cool to have half of the most astonishing athletes on earth diagnosed with ailments that totally coincidentally allow them to down elephant-killing quantities of performance-enhancing drugs at the start of every stage they're interested in winning, and has professed complete outrage at the proliferation of Therapeutic Use Exemptions with the amazingly timely amnesia that he's the clown actually responsible for handing these things out like party favors. So are we gonna suddenly see a million miracle cures for chronic lifelong afflictions, or is anyone actually gonna admit that such-and-so a rider isn't exactly the worn-out invalid we thought he was, Pat? Somehow I can guess how this one's going to turn out...

Vindicated: so I'm sure it's enormously comforting for the jacked riders over at Unibet that Christian Prudhomme, finally forced to confront the massive hypocrisy of letting every other gambling outfit to advertise on the peloton's @#$#@ at the Tour de France except them on legal grounds, has now mindbogglingly admitted that Unibet was not barred on legal techicalities against gambling sponsors, but on the basis of their crap results all season. Was I missing something, or wasn't that Unibet taking half the spring races despite never being allowed to ride with the big boys for the vast majority of the season? Unibet, too, remains skeptical, noting that despite their lack of ride of time, they've still racked up more wins than Milram, who've hit the courses twice as much. Keep trying Prudhomme, you're bound to come up with something halfway plausible sometime!

Finally: big points to we love Paolo Bettini for his pre-nationals interview with Gazzetta dello Sport (, click on "Ciclismo" then "Home ciclismo", if you don't speak Italian unfortunately I believe you're stuck with my abysmal translations), dope-slapping the hypocrite goons at UCI for their meaningless Virginity Pledge that doesn't even begin to ditch responsibility at the feet of anyone who counts, and as usual exploits the riders for problems they bear but don't (at least primarily) cause. Right on Paolo!

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